October is Walk to School Month

September 14th, 2010 by Pat Wisher

October is Walk to School Month.   The Walk to School website has classroom packs and resources to help you promote this initiative.

The number of school children walking to school has declined over the years. All States Departments have signed up to Guernsey’s obesity strategy. Living Streets Guernsey believes it is now more important than ever to encourage children to be more physically active.

New US research has shown that walking to school in the morning reduces stress in children during the school day.  A one mile stroll was found to curb increases in heart rate and blood pressure that can lead to cardiovascular disease later in life.

Stress levels were about twice as high for the passive commuters compared to active children. Lead researcher Professor James Roemmich, from the University of Buffalo said: “The cardiovascular disease process begins in childhood, so if we can find some way of stopping or slowing that process, that would provide an important health benefit”

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Living Streets UK, told Mail Online: “This new research is more ammunition for what we have been saying all along – walking really does work. Walking is one of the greenest, cheapest forms of exercise you can do and not only can it impact your physical health, it is good for children’s learning. Previous research from the Department of Transport found that 9 out of 10 teachers reported that children who walk to school are more alert and ready to work once they reach the classroom.”

Living Streets Guernsey has been promoting walking in the island since 2002. In the UK the WoW scheme (Walk Once a Week) is being used as a tool nationwide to help lower obesity rates amongst children.

This initiative could be a starting point this October for students to walk to school at least once per week.

  1. No Comments

Have your say